Monday, March 5, 2018
Written by John Bleh
February 28th was my 88th day on skis. 79 of those days were here while the others were at Banff, Lake Louise, Alta, Snowbird and Mt. Snow. As you all know this has been a roller coaster of a year, but it proves the old adage that “There is never a bad day of skiing, just bad equipment.”
I'll admit I'm a little behind Win on my ski days. I got distracted enjoying the Olympics too much and what a wild few Olympic weeks! My curling knowledge has increased exponentially, especially considering the U.S. snagged a gold medal in the team event. But as the Olympics fade from memory and the Paralympics begin, I'm reminded of all the great adaptive sports partners that we work with here at Sugarbush, all of whom will be quite active this month.
Take the High Fives Foundation for example, who is hosting their FAT Ski-A-Thon this Sunday, March 4th off the Valley House Quad. Mad River Valley native, Roy Tuscany, and High Fives have been working with Sugarbush for a number of years now. The ski-a-thon this Sunday will be the 7th annual, where participants will complete as many runs as possible at Lincoln Peak to raise money for High Fives. Over $200,000 has already been raised this year.
For those who don't know, the organization provides resources and inspiration to outdoor sports athletes who suffer life-altering injuries and raise injury prevention awareness. Roy, the founder, suffered a devastating spinal cord injury while training in Mammoth and turned his positive recovery experience into the non-profit foundation we know today.
Or look at the Kelly Brush Foundation, which is dedicated to making active lifestyles a reality for those who have experienced spinal cord injuries. The foundation was founded by Kelly and her family after Kelly was injured in 2006 during an alpine ski race. For the last few years we've been hosting the Kelly Brush Foundation Community Ski Day. This year the event is on Sunday, March 18th. The event gets the community together on the slopes with Kelly for a group ski, mono ski clinic and après party. In fact, their Spring 2018 Active Fund grant cycle is currently open through March 18th for those interested in finding ways to help support the organization.
Over at Mt. Ellen, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports offers sports and recreational programs to people with disabilities and has had one of its homes here at Sugarbush since 1991. One of their athletes is headed to PyeongChang next week for the Paralympic Games. Vermont's own Stephen Lawler, who skied and trained with Vermont Adaptive's race team as a kid at Sugarbush before moving out West to pursue his goals, will compete in Downhill, Super-G and Giant Slalom. This is his second Paralympics, and we're stoked to watch him go for gold on the international stage. (He's scheduled to race March 9, 10 and 16.) Check out the Paralympic Games on NBC's various channels March 9 - 16.
The Vermont Adaptive Race Team has 30 athletes with 35 coaches who train every Sunday, learning to work through gates but also to improve personal skiing skills and simply have fun. The team trains all winter to compete at the Special Olympics Vermont Winter Games this month as well as other races and competitions throughout the year.
As a Sugarbush employee, I'm proud that our mountain has partnered with such incredible organizations. You'll find them all out on the hill this month, for what we hope will be full of snow and good times. Outside of those events, Castlerock Extreme, Sugaring Time Festival, Island Weekend and Mt. Ellen's End of Season Celebration all happen in the month of March. I hope to see many of you out there enjoying the snow and sun.
See you on the mountain,